Friday's roundup: Greinke makes surprise choice in Diamondbacks

Associated Press
Zack Greinke

The Arizona Diamondbacks unveiled their snazzy new uniforms one day, then landed a new ace to wear them the next.

Surprise! Zack Greinke is coming to the desert.

The D-backs beat out the division rival Dodgers and Giants to unexpectedly win the Greinke sweepstakes Friday night, acquiring the free agent ace they hope will get the franchise contending again — and fast. He reached an agreement on a $206.5 million, six-year contract, sources told the Associated Press.

The major league ERA leader and runner-up for the NL Cy Young Award helped lead the Dodgers to their third straight division title this season. Then, the 32-year-old righty opted out of his contract, leaving $71.5 million on the table — and wound up with the richest deal, by yearly average, in baseball history.

Greinke was the second former AL Cy Young winner to get a mega-contract this week. David Price joined the Boston Red Sox for $217 million over seven years. The moves came as teams prepared to head this weekend to the winter meetings in Nashville.

Greinke's new deal contains deferred money. The $34.4 million average will be the sport's highest, topping Price's $31 million.

Earlier this offseason, pitcher Johnny Cueto turned down a $120 million offer from the Diamondbacks after he helped Kansas City win the World Series and became a free agent.

Instead, the Diamondbacks reeled in an even bigger prize. They had money to spend — last February, they signed a TV deal with Fox Sports Arizona for more than $1.5 billion over 20 years.

Greinke's contract gave him the flexibility to find a new home. He was in prime position, too, after setting a career high for wins by going 19-3 and posting a 1.66 ERA that was the best in the majors in 20 years.

In December 2012, Greinke signed a $147 million, six-year deal with the Dodgers that included an opt-out clause. He exercised it and walked away from a whopping amount over the next three years.

"We made a very strong offer to retain Zack but clearly he found a deal that fit better for him and his family," Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said in a statement. "We are now hard at work on our alternatives."

Greinke went 51-15 during his three years with the Dodgers.

Lackey to Cubs

Multiple media outlets are reporting the Chicago Cubs and free-agent pitcher John Lackey have agreed to a two-year contract.

The move reunites Lackey with former teammates Jon Lester and David Ross. Lackey, Lester and Ross helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013. Cubs executive Theo Epstein also was the general manager in Boston when Lackey signed a free-agent deal with the Red Sox in 2009.

The 37-year-old Lackey went 13-10 with a 2.77 ERA in 33 starts for NL Central champion St. Louis this season. He got the start in Game 4 of the NL Division Series at Wrigley Field and pitched just three innings in a season-ending 6-4 loss to Chicago.

Nats get Perez

Pitcher Oliver Perez and the Washington Nationals have agreed to a $7 million, two-year contract, according to a person familiar with the negotiations, a start to rebuilding the team's shaky bullpen.